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 In the spirit of the last Favourite Entrances selection, I'm jumping ahead to talk about Billie's introduction...

Billie - 11x02 Form and Void

Now, just a fair warning, there will be a little rant in here about how they could have made this (retroactively) even better... but I'll talk about why it's fantastic even without that first.

Firstly, we get that repeated leitmotif that tells us exactly who Billie is before Sam clues in. This is purely for the audiences benefit, which COULD be a complaint, but personally, I like it. We know Billie is a reaper - and the folk-song quality to her singing establishes her immediately in the subconscious as being associated with the ancient and unchanging... which is a fantastic unconscious association to establish when it comes to reapers/Death.

Then we move on to her action words - again, immediately she KNOWS Sam. This puts Billie on firm ground, and Sam off of it. Potential threats are always more threatening when they know you and you don't know them.

And then, Billie does the near-impossible on the show, which is to re-establish the fear of death. By introducing a possibility of "the Empty" - Billie gives us a possible final death for both the boys... actually, she PROMISES a final death. Which means the stakes MUCH hire for both Sam currently (who is dying), and also the safety of either brother going forward. (Of course, this works better if you ignore subsequent sequences when they then undercut even the danger of the Empty by pulling Castiel back from it.)

The other thing I like about this introduction is that it's to Sam... although, once again, the show falls back on old habits and then starts having Billie interact primarily with Dean, it was cool, for a moment, to have this newly incarnated Death-like being interact with Sam instead. Just to contrast her more with the previous incarnation of a Death-like being who interacted with Dean.

Rant time:
But you know what would make this introduction SO MUCH BETTER.... if the show, from the jump, decided that Billie was the "new" Death. It would make WAY more sense than having Death be killable, since we know that the other horseman can't be killed, they can only be defeated/weakened. It would follow that Death too, cannot be killed... especially because DEATH IS DEATH. As long as people are dying, Death is there, my friends. Just like when God was dying, the universe started collapsing (ie: life was impossible), so too should it have been that if Death truly died, everyone would have stopped dying.  But, that's my opinion, and I favour dualistic supernatural universes. And I'm getting off track... if Billie were Death, in a momentarily weakened state, it would make sense that she'd let Sam assume she was just a reaper while she regained her strength.

Moreover, it would account for why random-reaper-named-Billie decides she's going to be the one to take the Winchesters to task. I guess they stupidly killed Tessa, so the show was like "shit, we don't have any other established reapers, let's just make one." But even Tessa was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when she formed her association with Dean... Billie seems to be volunteering for the job, and that would make FAR MORE SENSE if the Winchesters had just "killed" her the day before. You needn't even have the reveal be any different than what it was - just instead of some convoluted mythology of a reaper needing to die to become "the next Death" just have Billie return after Castiel "kills" her and say "Okay, enough of that false identity shit - it's me, Death, and I'm pissed." Though, granted, I recognize they also needed a reason for Billie to be like "but I'm not going to kill you, because now I have new information and you need to stay alive"... but honestly, just go with that, I'd have preferred it. Moreover, if you establish Death as unkillable, then Billie threatening to toss them into the Empty, and perhaps only letting Dean live that one time as a personal favour, keeps that threat of finale death present as much as possible on the show... because, there but by the grace of Death go they.  /rant This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/563865.html.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
madebyme_x
Sep. 21st, 2018 09:25 am (UTC)
Yes, it always mystified me why they used that song but didn't make Billie Death until later (don't get me wrong, it is a great introduction and I loved it; I mean Lisa voice was perfectly haunting and unsettling in the best way!) but why not just have her be the new Death from the get go?!

hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2018 01:51 am (UTC)
Exactly. It'd have been so much more effective to IMMEDIATELY reintroduce Death as a character in order to drive home the fact that Death can't be avoided/defeated/etc. That all you can do is delay it a little while, but in the end, Death is eternal.
tabaqui
Sep. 21st, 2018 12:06 pm (UTC)
*sigh*
I hated how they screwed up the mythos re: Death. I hated that 'our' Death 'died', which is incredibly stupid. When he spoke about his 'life', he'd been there from the beginning and would always be there - he wasn't some opportunistic reaper who'd just decided to take over the job - he was there from the *start* - or even before.

Show rocks so hard in so many ways, and then utterly fucks things up in other ways that just make me want to shake someone.

I agree it's a good entrance, and having Sam be the person was awesome. But.... ARGH.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2018 01:55 am (UTC)
Yes, I think a lot of the time the Supernatural writers fall into the trap of thinking they're clever/talented by breaking the rules... when really, the proof of how talented a writer you are, in my opinion, is how effectively you can write under constraints. Killing Death isn't clever - figuring out how to escape Death, if only temporarily, would be clever.
raloria
Sep. 22nd, 2018 01:41 am (UTC)
Yes! It still bugs me that they killed Death and then people kept on DYING! Why????
You'd think, "Well, with Death gone..." But no. Business as usual. *sigh*
Plus, how could Death be killable. You'd think he'd be eternal. He's very old, tells us so, and that he'll eventually reap God, too. So much for that! But no, Dean just strikes him with a scythe and that's all she wrote. So easy! And come on, why would Death be that gullible? You put a weapon like that in the hands of Dean Winchester and trust that he's not going to do what you talked about and kill his own brother??? Yeah right!
Ugh. No matter how I look at it, it's wrong and messed up. Death, knowing Dean so well, should have known better.

Sadly, the show tends to write themselves into a lot of corners and then later go, "Ooops! We just created a problem. Time to change the rules to get ourselves out of it." Thus, making Billie become Death. Again, it's just too easy. And since they established that people can keep dying without Death...why do we need one??? *sigh*
hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2018 01:58 am (UTC)
Exactly, exactly. *nods nods*

I personally have to headcanon that Death knew exactly what was going to happen - but let Dean do it anyway, because Death wanted to come back as 'Billie' and lay low for a while... because otherwise the show just makes me want to scream.

As I said above, I don't think it's the show writing themselves into corners so much as the writers not being good enough to realize that hard rules are what make universes fun to play in/tension-filled/satisfying... and that intelligent writing is being able to write within the rules, rather than breaking them.
raloria
Sep. 22nd, 2018 02:14 am (UTC)
I personally have to headcanon that Death knew exactly what was going to happen - but let Dean do it anyway, because Death wanted to come back as 'Billie' and lay low for a while... because otherwise the show just makes me want to scream.

Yeah, I'm kinda with you on that one. He didn't exactly look shocked when it happened. So, maybe...

intelligent writing is being able to write within the rules, rather than breaking them

Yes! The potential they would've had if people stopped dying. No more new spirits, no more new souls to tap into for power. What consequences would that bring? That could have been interesting, but we'll never know.
borgmama1of5
Sep. 22nd, 2018 03:22 am (UTC)
That was one helluva an entrance!

And like everyone else has said, why not just make her the new Death from the get-go? Sigh.

I can't say it better than tabaqui did:
Show rocks so hard in so many ways, and then utterly fucks things up in other ways that just make me want to shake someone.
hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2018 03:46 am (UTC)
Agreed!
kailita
Sep. 22nd, 2018 04:09 pm (UTC)
STRONG AGREEMENT WITH ALL OF THIS.

I haven’t been commenting (the last couple months have been rough), but I’m still reading, and really enjoying these. <3
hells_half_acre
Sep. 22nd, 2018 07:28 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're enjoying the posts! I hope things smooth out for your soon. <3
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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